Brian Schroth's Techdirt Profile

Brian Schroth

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  • Oct 03, 2012 @ 08:34pm

    "I think "deliberate" is a slightly sloppy word choice here. He's correct that copyright requires (mostly) actual copying, but it need not be "deliberate" in the traditional sense. Law prof. John Tehranian has famously covered just how much we accidentally infringe on a daily basis. Posner seems to be suggesting that to infringe on copyright, you know you're infringing. "

    No, you're just misreading him.

    He said "deliberate copying". You criticize his statement as if he said "deliberate infringing. Posner seems to be suggesting that to infringe on copyright, you know you're copying. Not that you know you're infringing.

  • Jul 06, 2012 @ 12:30pm

    not so sure we can easily lump this in under criticism/commentary

    "fair use" criticism is criticism of the work, not just criticism in general. I can play a clip of a song to criticize the song, but I can't use the song as the soundtrack for my movie that criticizes some politician. Same for fair use commentary- the idea behind these fair use exceptions is that people need to be able to comment on and criticize works, and they will need to use pieces of the work in order to do so effectively. But it you use pieces of the work to comment on or criticize something completely different, that's no longer fair use. It seems like a stretch to say that this is a commentary on the video- it seems to be more a commentary on abortion in general.

  • Jun 20, 2012 @ 11:43am

    Teaching requires more than just knowing the subject matter

    I don't know what it is about teaching that makes everyone think they can do it. Particularly when it's clear that most people are absolutely terrible at it! Think about the last time someone tried to teach you something- whether it's how to cook, or the rules of a game, or anything. The person might have been an expert on that subject, but I'll bet their explanation was not very good. People are terrible at teaching.

    To become certified to teach, teachers go through extensive training. Not on subject matter (we know that already) but on teaching techniques. On learning styles, brain development, classroom management... to effectively teach the subject.

    So no, this woman was not "clearly qualified to teach those subjects". In fact, she would probably do a terrible job at it if she tried. Chances are she would have no idea how to handle misbehaving kids, become stressed, and quit after a year muttering how "kids weren't like this in my day!".

  • May 01, 2012 @ 02:35pm

    Analogy to rape

    Mike, I've never understood why you seem to oppose every libel claim no matter how legitimate. Here's how your logic would work in another case...

    "Is filing rape charges really the most reasonable response? It does appear that the accused may have had sex with her against her will, and could potentially meet the bar for a rape charge, but it's difficult to see how such a charge helps anything. I can't imagine that filing charges against other people helps make her feel any better. The fact is that men can be violent -- and it sounds like the man who she is accusing of raping her fit that description. But does that really need to be settled in court?"

    Maybe this will make things worse for her. Maybe it will make her less accepted at school. Maybe it will cost her family money. But it will teach her and everyone else the valuable lesson that bullies can and should be stood up to. And it will provide some semblance of justice.

  • Feb 08, 2012 @ 07:59am

    "The "good" reason for not determining whether or not porn promotes the progress is that it would involve a judge determining if a particular piece of content promotes the progress. That's a dangerous slippery slope in which judges become art critics."

    Sorry, I have to take issue here. There's no "slippery slope" when you're already at the bottom. The judge already has to become the arbiter of what is legitimate content when judging this pornography. Pornography is real content, and it is wrong to pretend that this would only be a problem if it led down a "slippery slope" to non-pornographic content.

  • Feb 03, 2012 @ 06:28am

    I can make the case in much fewer words:

    Everyone has personal biases, on all topics. PR pros are no different from the rest of us, in that respect. Wikipedia has existing processes for keeping their articles unbiased.

    Since everyone is biased, bias is not a sufficient reason to block PR pros from editing Wikipedia. They should be treated the same as every other editor- and their biases should be handled by Wikipedia's normal bias-handling procedures.

  • Jan 20, 2012 @ 10:48am

    A more accurate way of framing it than "we won this battle, now we've won the war" would be "hey, after losing 50 battles in a row (DMCA, SBCTEA, etc) we finally won 1!".

  • Jan 20, 2012 @ 07:02am

    Personally, I don't think there should me any restrictions on who can edit any article. I should be able to edit an article on myself, if I so desire. These policies are a product of totally wrongheaded thinking that somehow only certain people are biased, when in reality everyone is biased. Wikipedia has processes in place to dispute biased information precisely because even if you don't allow certain people to post, bias is still present. So why not simply allow everyone to edit, and use those existing processes to resolve disputes about biased information?

  • Jan 19, 2012 @ 06:49pm

    This is the standard way Washington operates. Create a shitty law at the behest of one industry to give them the return on their investment. Then go to the opposing industry and say "Nice little industry you've got going there. It would be a shame if this shitty law were to pass and mess it up..."

    Then you can get money from everyone!

  • Jan 16, 2012 @ 08:21am

    pirates are killing jobs

    See what you've done, pirates? Now even thieves are losing their income and can't feed their families, because you've killed the market for their products.

    Won't somebody please think of the thieves?

  • Dec 30, 2011 @ 05:56am

    "For example, if a defendant impermissibly scrapes a plaintiff's website--making unauthorized copies into RAM while doing so"

    I really hate reading stuff like this. Might as well say "If a defendant impermissibly views a plaintiff's website--making unauthorized copies on their retinas while doing so".

    The idea that RAM constitutes infringement shows such a complete lack of understanding of what infringement is and how technology works that it leaves me baffled.

  • Nov 09, 2011 @ 07:23am

    "I also have to agree with Tim Lee, who wrote the Ars Technica post linked and quoted above, in noting that the lawyer for the guy who was surveilled, Antoine Jones, seemed to focus on a rather weak point in his argument. Rather than focusing on the problem that the appeals court noted -- this "mosaic theory" that the sum total of this 24/7 surveillance violated the 4th Amendment -- Jones' lawyer focused on the question of trespassing in installing the GPS device, something that seems kind of meaningless when you consider that most such tracking can now be done remotely via mobile phones/satellites, without a direct device attached to a car."

    Maybe "most such tracking" can be done without a direct device, but the lawyer isn't fighting a case against "most such tracking". He's fighting a case for his client, and his client was tracked with a device attached to his car. Boo-hoo for Tim Lee that the lawyer is focused on his client rather than being a white knight for some completely different cause.

  • Oct 03, 2011 @ 03:06pm

    I had an extremely positive experience with a TSA patdown. Giggity giggity.

  • Sep 29, 2011 @ 08:23pm

    Re: Re:

    You chose between Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan? Is there some niche subgenre of great songwriters with terrible voices that you just can't get enough of?

  • Sep 27, 2011 @ 07:30am

    Re: Re: Re: Response to: Anonymous Coward on Sep 27th, 2011 @ 5:43am

    You have the right to control what you create. You can keep it to yourself, or you can release it to others. If you keep it to yourself, you can control it. If you release it to others, you can't.

    If you choose the latter option anyway, that's your problem.

  • Sep 22, 2011 @ 10:09am

    So they are going to create a link in people's minds between sexual arousal and cruelty to animals. Something tells me they didn't think this one all the way through...

  • Jul 22, 2011 @ 06:48pm

    How sad is it that we think about whether a replicator would "create jobs"? A replicator, an invention which would instantly revolutionize civilization as we know it and allow us all to live lives of leisure and comfort...and we sit here thinking about whether we'll still be able to waste away our lives doing our 40 hours per week of drudgery!

    Fuck that! Replicator technology would eliminate jobs- and that's a good thing!

  • Jul 19, 2011 @ 08:18am


    If you think her yard is an eyesore and want to control what is done with it, you have an option: Buy the property. Then you can control it however you'd like!

    Until then, she owns it and should have control over what is done with it. If you don't own the property, it should be filed under "Things I don't control but wish I did", right alongside Natalie Portmans' sexual desires.

  • Jul 13, 2011 @ 07:00am

    I see two values mentioned: $3,815 and $318.50.

    Which is it?

  • Jul 12, 2011 @ 07:30am

    Cameras that could catch them doing illegal things where they can't delete the footage creates a "chilling effect".

    Cameras that could catch them doing illegal things, but that they can delete the footage does not create a "chilling effect".

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